BLAKEDOWN WI: There was a good turnout of members on what was a rather chilly, damp evening.

Jan Cook stepped in to deputise for the President Chris Rostron, who was away in warmer climes.

She welcomed new member Hilary Dyer and visitor Jan Richardson and thanked June Gordon for providing the flower arrangement of hyacinths, which decorated the President’s table. She went on to congratulate June on her longstanding membership of WI. June recalled her first meeting 50 years ago exactly, when a neighbour invited her to join. Rather reluctantly, June obliged, not knowing anything of the organisation. She was most surprised to find it just consisted of women. However it was clearly a successful move for both June and the WI. She has been a stalwart member of the Committee and has been indefatigable in her participation in all activities, which has benefited not only the members but the wider community. She said she had enjoyed every minute of her time in WI. June then kindly handed out sweets to all members to mark this anniversary. The secretary, Chris Burt then presented June with a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses.

Following the Minutes of the previous meeting, which noted another successful panto, that had clearly impressed visitors from other WIs, it was time to consider the annual resolutions. These had been fully explained in a recent WI Life Magazine. Eight very worthy causes had been suggested including equal funding for those with mental health problems, promoting self- sufficiency in fruit production and the prevention of sudden cardiac arrest in young adults. Each member voted for their preferred option, which will be passed on to the National Federation.

Jan Cook suggested setting up a trading store for the February meeting and asked members to bring unwanted gifts and items (excluding clothes and shoes) ready priced for selling. Since the theme for that evening is to be Tales of Love and Chocolate, Jan also requested members bring a heart created by them in any media. Forthcoming events mentioned included: the Lunch Club meeting on February 16, members were asked to let June Gordon know if they wished to go; a new members meeting in the sports pavilion on March 18 at 7.30 - if anyone is interested , please come along to find out about the W.I; the monthly Book Club still thriving after four years, anyone interested is asked to speak to Kath Lahive.

After refreshments a Beetle Drive was organised and proved to be great fun. The room was buzzing as everyone tried desperately to be the winner in their team. Dice flew across the tables at a furious pace. It proved to be a very sociable event with members moving on to another team, if they won the round. The overall winner was the person with the highest score, who surprisingly had not moved tables at all.

Following a charming rendition of “Oh dear, what can the matter be” from Kath Edwards, June Gordon and Doreen Chatwin, it was time for a quiz. The room went quiet as teams tried to work out the clues. The winning team speedily solved the clues, whilst others struggled to make sense of them. All in all it was a fun evening for the members, who appreciated the efforts of the committee in organising the activities.

Jan Cook wished everyone a goodnight and reminded them that the next meeting will be on

February 10.